From Prof John A. Mathews.

Sir, The Comment article by Max Hastings (“Forget wind – Britain needs nuclear subsidies”, October 22) misses the mark in claiming that it is only China that will benefit from European renewable energy subsidies.

Certainly, Chinese turbine manufacturers will take advantage of British business incentives to install wind systems, but only because they have steadily built a strong domestic industry (in just five years) that is now looking to globalise. The US is seeking to punish China for building such a competitive industry (by threatening to take a case to the World Trade Organisation) even as it urges China to adopt more clean technology solutions to curb carbon emissions.

It seems to be only the Chinese who can back nuclear and renewables at the same time, as twin alternatives to fossil fuels. Europe and the US remain locked in a Manichean mindset that it has to be either/or – to their manifest disadvantage. Sir Max is simply adding fuel to this non-fossil fire.

John A. Mathews, Eni Chair of Competitive Dynamics and Global Strategy, LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome, Italy

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